Sirena LaBurn (b. 1986)
Born in Nederland, Texas in 1986, Sirena LaBurn received her MFA in Painting from the New York Studio School (2014), and her BS in Arts Administration from Wagner College, New York (2009). Before beginning her MFA, LaBurn worked as the Collections Catalogue Assistant at the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas, and was a resident at The Art Studio, Inc., Beaumont, Texas.
From 2014-2017 she assisted Graham Nickson in his internationally recognized Drawing Marathons. From 2019-2021, LaBurn taught Drawing and Design courses as a Visiting Instructor and Adjunct Instructor at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.
2014 MFA, New York Studio School
2022 Said to Be Dreaming, Olympia, New York, NY
2022 Landscape & Memory, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY
2021 In Rainbows, Western Gallery (virtual)
2021 Mythopaiea, 621 Gallery, Tallahasse, FL
2021 Powers at Play, The Art Studio Inc., Beaumont, TX (with Nathan Mullins)
2020 On Being Human, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, TX
2020 Texas Women, Western Gallery (virtual)
2020 Friends of 362 ½ Warren Street, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY
2020 New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY,NY (juried)
2020 New Western Talent, Western Gallery, online (juried)
2019 Amor Fati, Wagner College Gallery, Staten Island, NY
2019 Lamar University Annual Faculty Exhibition, Dishman Museum, Beaumont, TX
2019 New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY, NY (juried)
2019 Winter 2019 Juried Show, Blue Mountain Gallery, NY, NY (Juror: Elisa Jensen)
2018 Desert Gods, Vivid Space, San Diego, CA (two-person show)
2018 Holiday Show, Vivid Space, San Diego, CA
2017 New York Studio School Annual Invitational, NY, NY (juried)
2015 3 Jurors=3 Shows, New York Studio School, NY, NY (juried)
2013 Recent Work, Student Gallery, New York Studio School, NY, NY
2010 Member’s Show, 1st Pl., The Art Studio Inc., Beaumont, TX (Juror: Charlie Stagg)
2010 Neches River Festival Show, Beaumont Art League, Beaumont, TX (juried)
2009 Graduation Show, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY
2019 Alchemy Gallery, Galveston, TX
2017 Endless, Texas, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Café de Arts, Beaumont, TX
2015 Recent Work, Barcelon Colonia, Cologne, Germany
2014 Westward (MFA Thesis Exhibition), New York Studio School, New York, NY
2011 Objects of Familiarity, Barcelon Colonia, Cologne, Germany
2011 Facing Self, The Art Studio Inc,. Beaumont, TX
SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS
2020 Mercedes Matter Award, New York Studio School Alumni Exhibition
2019 Honorable Mention, New York Studio School Alumni Exhibition
2013 Henry Wolf Scholarship, New York Studio School; NY, NY
2013 Horace Goldsmith Scholarship, New York Studio School; NY, NY
PUBLICATIONS & PRESS
I have struggled with identity since childhood. At an early age, I confronted my ethnic identity, later my gender identity and then my identity as a Texan. Often, my experience was being other: brown when everyone else was white; masculine when the accepted ideal was feminine; Texan when everyone else was New Yorker or European. Stereotypes and value judgements were projected onto to me from many fronts. I grappled, sometimes resigned, sometimes subverted, and finally rejected the thoughts of others so often imposed on my being.
I eventually found solace in the idea that the one identity I could safely claim, the identity of which I am “enough," is American. I began a fraught journey to understand the histories, symbols, and cultural myths of the United States of America. Fascinated with imagery associated with the American West, especially the imagery that so often is interpreted as defining American values and identity, I began to watch classic Western films and read Western novels, and coupled these colonial cultural myths I discovered to historical readings.
Primarily through oil paintings, my studio practice interrogates American myths. I question the creation, adoption, and use of imagery intrinsically linked to the construction of America as it is imagined today. The resulting paintings attempt to reflect my personal experiences, as well as my historical investigations to unearth and represent personal experiences, meanings, and identities that challenge predominant narratives of America.